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Our Own Maycomb:Oral Histories of Marion County


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Keywords: Flip Video, Oral Histories, Research, Film Composition
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts, Journalism, Civics, History
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Creek Bridge High School, Marion, SC
Planned By: Pamela Dellinger
Original Author: Pamela Dellinger, Marion
Getting to the Source: An Oral History Project
AGREED DUE DATE FOR COMPLETED FILM _______________________
Today, you’ve been divided into pairs to begin an oral history project. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout describes to us what she sees and witnesses, so the novel is her history of Maycomb and its inhabitants. We all have a story, or history, to tell, and your partner and you will tell the story of two people. One will be someone close to your own age (a contemporary); the other will be a member of an older generation. The project will have five steps (and a grade will be given for each):

Make appointments and interview your two subjects (Each of you should interview one of the two people.). Flip cameras are available for checkout from the media center. We will discuss interview etiquette, and you will have a list of questions to ask which can be adjusted as the interview occurs. REMEMBER: NEVER INTERVIEW STRANGERS!

Research events and time periods discussed in the process of your interview—gathering images and text to establish context. It will be necessary to include images and text in your film to explain some things your subject discusses—we don’t know everything! Choose these carefully. We’ll review what makes visuals and graphics powerful.

Create a storyboard for the layout of your film. It’s always important to plan how everything will fit together and make your vision complete.

Create a film FOR EACH INTERVIEW SUBJECT. We’ll review MovieMaker in class, and online tutorials will be posted in the class folder. Don’t forget to think about a soundtrack—Will you narrate extra text? Add a musical piece from the time period?

After viewing the films, we will all blog and comment about the film-making process and what we noticed about the similarities and differences between the generations.

I’ll show you a sample project, and it will be in the class folder as well (along with the other support material). The rubric for the film is printed on the other side of this assignment, so you know how it will be graded. I can’t wait to see the finished results! Don’t forget to ask questions if you have them—we’re all learning together.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This project works well as an interdisciplinary one. US History, Introduction to Law, Technology, Journalism, or Civics are all good choices for integration with this project.
Follow-Up
A school viewing night, publication on classroom, school, and district websites, publication on teachertube, and a donation of all the films to the public library to keep on file as part of their county history section.
Materials: Flip Video